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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Public interest

The Board for Actuarial Standards (BAS) has noted with great interest the two articles you published by David Forfar on ‘Serving the public interest?’ We are currently developing our conceptual framework and there are some interesting concepts underlying David’s articles that may well play a part in our project, not least about the extent to which actuaries should have regard to the public interest.

I saw that David had a suggestion for the profession at the end of his first piece and five for us in his second. The aim of the BAS is to promote high-quality actuarial practice and this will include addressing both the techniques, models, and methodology that actuaries use in calculating prudential reserves and managing their offices’ estates, and the concepts and principles underlying that work.

At this stage I should simply like to point out that, in this discussion about the public interest, prudential regulators such as the Financial Services Authority and the Pensions Regulator also have a major role to play. As our development work progresses I hope we will clarify where the responsibilities lie for such important issues of policy. Without wishing to prejudge, I believe it is unlikely that our direct remit will include coverage of the five items he raises.

On 2 October there will be one good opportunity to debate these ideas, at the sessional meeting of the Faculty in Edinburgh. No doubt there will be many others.